Joined Aug 25, 2009
I plan on doing a Lamb Tajine and it calls for Ras-el-hanout. The recipe says that Ras-el-hanout has 23 spices but does not give the list. Can anyone tell me what the spices are ? Or something close.....I really appreciate it.

Thank you.
Joined May 26, 2001
Here's a link to a description on PracticallyEdible.com which, BTW, is one of my favorite sites for "looking stuff up." :thumb:

No measures are given, but then most "recipes" I've seen are pretty vague about quantities. The main thing is to get a balance of flavors that you like.
Joined Aug 21, 2004
When I make ras el-hanout, I use considerably less than 23 spices. That many spices would, to me, result in a muddled taste. I use cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Ras-el-hanout has 23 ingredients

I wonder where they pulled out that dogmatic figure?

Ras-el-Hanout is a basic spice mixture of Morroco. But there are as many versions as there are cooks. Just think of curry powder and Indian housewives to get the idea.

Typically there are 15-30 ingredients, and as many as 50---many of them questionable or even toxic. The Victorian-era Brits were always intrigued by it because the original contains Spanish fly among other exotic ingredients.

If you want a very simplified version, Jessica Harris, in The Africa Cookbook, offers:

Moroccan Spice Mixture

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbls cumin seeds
1/2 tbls caraway seeds
3 tbls dried mint leaves
3 inch stick cinnamon

Place all the ingredients together in a spice mill or a mortar and pulverize until coarsely ground. This mixture will keep for several weeks in a tightly closed container.

Like I say, that's incredibly simplified. Frankly, that won't give you the real flavor of Morocco that a tagine calls for. My own version, fwiw, is:

Ras el Hanout

2 tbls allspice berries
2 tbls black peppercorns
2 tspo nutmeg
10 whole cardamom ods
1 1/2 tsp coriander seed
1 tbls cumin seed
2 1/2 tbls dried gingerroot
1 piece cinnamon bark
1 tsp turmeric
5 miniature rosebids
1 clove
2-3 japones chilies
2 tbls dried mint

Toast seeds as necessary. Grind all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Paula Wolfert, in her seminal Cous Cous and Other Good Food From Morocco, lists the ingredients for what she calls an Americanized version:

4 whole nutmegs
10 rosebuds
12 cinnamon sticks
12 blades mace
1 tsp aniseed
8 piees turmeric
2 small pieces orrisroot
2 dried cayenne peppers
1/2 tsp lavender
1 tbls white peppercorns
2 pieces galingale
2 tbls whole gingerroot
6 cloves
24 allspice berries
20 white or green cardamom pods
4 black cardamom pods

You can toss all of this in a blender and let 'er rip.

Commercial versions are also available from several on-line sources. But it's really better to mix your own.
Joined Aug 25, 2009
Thank you so much for the link Suzanne.

The recipe calls for Lamb shoulder (boneless) , onions, raisins, almonds, beef stock, honey, ras-el-hanout , salt, olive oil and coriander leaves. In the past when a recipe called for the spice blend, it would include which ones, this time it said 23, and that was it. Nothing like guessing.

It is amazing how there can be 10 to 50 or more spice blends for one dish ....it was a good read
Included are “Cannabis” ?, “Spanish Fly”.?...:level:

Cheflayne, I will start with yours...

Cinnamon, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Clove, ......and end up with a mix out of the things you posted ...

KYHeirloomer, I will use most of those , You say clove, I take it you mean garlic clove ? I am still deciding ....
I will make it to Morocco one day.:thumb:

Thanks for the feedback
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi Catherine,

A while back I had asked for help cooking the food of Morocco, in this thread. KYH was really such a help and supplied me with a good number of tasty recipes. I now find myself using my mortar and pestle all the time for whole spices.

let us know how things work out for you...

hooray food!

Joined Aug 25, 2009
Thank you so much for the thread.

I just took a look at it and later tonight when I get in I will read it. All of a sudden I have been hit with a Morrocan bug , have 3 Tajines now and have been eating at this little Morrocan restaurant not far from my house at lunch time and I am in love with the flavors.....exotic....and the music.....MY bags are packed......

My mother started making Turkish bread.....its terrific....something new all the time...
Joined Feb 1, 2007
You say clove, I take it you mean garlic clove ?

Iffin I'd a meant galic Idda said so, Petals. :look:

No, in this case it's actual clove. Cloves inpart a nice floral accent, but can be overpowering---which is why the recipe just uses one of them.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Dan, thanks for bringing up that link. I knew we'd had that discussion, but couldn't find it. Would of saved me a bunch of typing.
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